Economic Woes Are Jeopardizing Americans’ Health
By Sheryl Nance-Nash
In this economy, people aren’t just cutting out luxuries, nearly half of Americans are skimping on necessities like medication and doctor visits — drastic actions that could be dangerous to their health.
According to the latest monthlyConsumer ReportsIndex survey, the lack of money to pay for medical bills and medications is consistently the top financial concern of Americans.
For the last three years, theConsumer ReportsNational Research Center has asked people about their medication and health care use, and about ways they’ve been cutting costs. This year, the percentage of people who reported skimping on medication and other forms of health care rose 9 percentage points from 39% to 48%, the largest increase so far, according to Consumer Reports.
In addition, some 21% said they put off a doctor’s visit; 17% delayed a medical procedure and 14% declined a medical test.
Some folks went further: 16% didn’t fill a prescription; 13% took expired medication; 12% skipped a dose without asking a doctor or pharmacist; 8% split pills in half without telling their doctor or pharmacist and 4% shared a prescription with somebody.